Alex sent the Little Printer instruction manual off to be printed this week. It’s another step, and it’s really neat to see how elegantly this small gatefold booklet fits in with the rest of the packaging. Open the box up and one of the first things you see is the Bridge. And tucked underneath, as if to answer any questions this might prompt, are the instructions, almost pleading to be read.
A lot of thought has gone into the whole “opening experience”. We collaborated with the brilliant paper engineers at Burgopak, who’ve won all sorts of awards for their packaging. Various gauges of cardboard were folded in ever-more unusual ways, designs were batted back and forth, and all sorts of issues were tackled.
- should we use coated (white) or uncoated (brown) paper? Or another colour entirely?
- how do different types of paper affect print quality? Does uncoated paper soak up more ink than coated?
- warehousing: where and how do we store all the pre-made packaging? Should the boxes be glued? Or tabbed and folded? Should they come flat packed? And if they do, how long will it take the people packing the product to make up the boxes? If they’re not flatpacked, how much space will that take up? And how much would that cost?
All this was being done before the final sizes were 100% agreed, but Burgopak were brilliant at making minute, millimetre adjustments to incorporate different cables and plug adaptor heads. A real example of hardware and packaging working hand in hand. We think the results are lovely, with everything fitting together incredibly snugly.
But it’s not just pretty. It does a job, too. One of the things Alex did as the packaging design was in progress was to drop it — with Little Printer tucked cosily inside — from a variety of heights. Again and again, testing not only the flat sides but every corner. Little Printer emerged from the experience unscathed (our nerves less so), and while we don’t recommend that anyone try this at home, it’s nice to know the packages will be well protected as they journey across the globe.
Away from the studio, people continue to write thoughtful things about Little Printer. Our e-mail was buzzing this morning with talk of Geoff Pugh’s blog, which refers to the thinking behind Little Printer as thoroughly lateral and thoroughly British.
We’re almost certain he means this as a compliment.